October 13, 2000 - Newswire Release

Author: Gail Hinchion Mancini

p. p. Two controversial studies that document higher levels of student learning in private than public schools will be reviewed Nov. 4 (Saturday) during a conference sponsored by the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives (IEI).p. One of the studies, on the achievements of African-American students in voucher programs in three urban locations, is fueling an increased interest among African-American social action groups in support of school vouchers.p. The study, “Test-Score Effects of School Vouchers in Dayton, Ohio, New York City, and Washington, D.C.: Evidence from Randomized Field Trials,” was led by Paul E. Peterson, director of the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University. Coauthor William Howell, from the department of political science of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will discuss the study’s findings.p. Discussion moderator William Carbonaro, Notre Dame assistant professor of sociology and an IEI fellow, will review the shortcomings of the study in informing overall policy on vouchers.p. Thomas Hoffer, senior researcher with the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center(NORC), will review new data in a long-time comparison of student outcomes among public and Catholic schools.p. Hoffer will present the latest data in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS) specific to test scores and social outcomes among kindergarten students. NORC has been collecting comparative data on Catholic and public schools since 1987.p. Titled “Public and Private School Influences on Student Outcomes,” the daylong event will take place in the Hesburgh Center Auditorium on campus. Other topics will include:p. -A review of the outcomes of religious schooling as derived from a survey of Jewish schools in Chicago, to be presented by researchers Barbara Schneider, professor of sociology at the University of Chicago, and Adam Gamoran, professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.p. -Two views on civic engagement among students in private and public schools. Jeffrey McLellan of the Life Cycle Institute of the Catholic University of America will review data collected on high school students. David Sikkink, assistant professor of sociology and a fellow in Notre Dame’s Program on the Social Organization of Schools, will discuss civic participation in the lower grades (see attached “sidebar”).p. A complete list of topics and presenters is available at www.nd.edu/~iei, as is registration information. Information also is available by calling 219-631-8294.


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